In this episode I get to talk to Shannel Trudeau-Yancey, a rehabilitation psychologist, yoga & meditation trainer and presence-based mindset coach focusing on somatic experiencing. We talk about being present, being part of a healthy community and culture, anxiety, releasing trauma and so much more.
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Clement: [00:02:04] Hello, and welcome to another episode of unleash love. My name is Clément and I’m your host today. I get to talk to Shannel Trudeau, Yancey presence-based mindset, coach. Focusing on somatic experiencing, we talk about being present, being part of a healthy community culture, anxiety, releasing trauma, and so much more. You deal with this kind of therapy, let’s say you are someone, who works with people on their anxiety, and why don’t you help me understand, what it is you do?
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:02:38] Yeah, so I have a couple of different hats that I wear. So by trade I’m a rehabilitation psychologist, and so basically that just means it’s different, a little different than counseling psychology because I work directly with individuals with disabilities. I’ve been doing that for over 20 years where it’s just helping integrate people have, and, regardless of ability that society treats people as whole, complete human beings. And so, it’s it’s really remarkable work, but on top of that, where my passion is now more is obviously, I do yoga, meditation training and things like that, but I’m also a coach with a presence-based mindset. So, a, I guess it’s more somatic experiencing, like what is happening within the body. Like for example, for you, you had a tipping point where your body was just telling you loudly, something needs to shift right now. Your life is precious. What are you going to do? And so that is the coaching piece of it is something that is where I’m spending a lot more of my time. Working with people that have anxiety or depression or, this whole COVID pandemic and everything that’s happened in the United States within our black communities and things like that has created a lot of fragmentation for people. And there’s a separation of not being in the shared human experience anymore. There’s this us and them and this really, I don’t even know how to say it, but it’s created an energy that. Makes us more cautious of each other and makes us more afraid of human relationship and intimacy and connection. And without that anxiety increases, depression increases. Cause we’re we’re not having that supportive network in the same way or that real intimate connection, or even like skin hunger. That’s a thing, just touch. And so, the presence-based coaching, part of what I do is really focusing on how we can be in our felt sense into our own experience that we’re feeling within our bodies to make change. There’s a lot of self-help books out there. There’s a lot of, therapeutic approaches and what I’ve found that’s helpful is what my body is telling me. And bodies are intelligent. They’re very smart. And our minds are stories, our bodies tell the truth.
Clement: [00:04:53] Understand like what somatic means in that sense then. Cause I’m not very familiar with how this, what this means. Can you, because I’m very interested by what you just said about feeling your body and your intuition and just trusting yourself that you know, what you need, what you want. I think we really do need a lot more of that because we’re so messed up in our minds that we’ve disconnected. Right from our intuition and our guide, our inner guide, and we’re trusting more, this kind of tool that we have our brain when in reality, a lot of the decision-making I think ancestrally just came from an inner knowledge and inner wisdom.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:05:34] Said, I think that’s really part of it. The somatic Soma is the body. That’s what Soma means. And so it’s really trusting into that knowledge that we all have. We have this ancestral history, and we have this ancestral experiencing that is a knowing or an intuition. Like you said, that just comes up for us, and for some people, because. They’re living in fight or flight or in survival mode. They’re not able to, because of the circumstances of the life, maybe drop into experiencing or exploring that so much. So I definitely think, for a lot of the folks at EY that I’ve talked to those that are really seeking to do that walk around their body or a trauma that they’ve experienced or something like that may have more resources or more time to be able to commit to doing it. But it’s really something that’s not so complicated. In any moment you can check in with the felt sense of your body and see what’s there. Do I feel fear? Do I feel tightness? Do I feel heat? Do I feel anxiety. Is this something I need to pay attention to? Or do I just sense into this for a bit and watch a pass? We live in a very cognitive based world where everything is heady and thinking and doing. But that space of just being in the body and just sensing into what shows up, I think is, really important for healing as a culture and healing as an individual. The mind I have this quote that I’ve said a lot that I think I don’t know where I heard it from, but that the mind or the thoughts are great teachers, but they’re not good masters. So we often are like, oh yeah, this is true. This is real because this is what we’re thinking. The body doesn’t really have the creativity to lie. So you can talk yourself anything, but your body’s going to tell ya, I don’t feel safe or I do feel safe or this feels good to me or this doesn’t feel good to me. And so I feel like that’s the work of I can do counseling and do therapy and let’s come up with behavioral. Ideas are different, intention setting practices, which are all really good. But if your body isn’t following suit in the body and the mind and the spirit, aren’t all connected, it may or may not be sustainable.
So what I found in my own life because of my own experience with anxiety and trauma in my childhood Was that’s what really helped me of just that sort of dropping into my body into a place of really being present with what is happening right now. So I could just really wake up to my life and that I feel like has saved me personally and something that I enjoy working with others to try and help them navigate their own path that way too.
Clement: [00:08:14] Yeah, look, there’s, you’ve just mentioned a lot of stuff and I want to touch on a few things that you mentioned. So first thing I want to talk about is the lie. And you said that your body isn’t good at lying to yourself because it’s not built that way. You’re supposed to feel what you feel and use it as a message as an indicator of what to do next or what not to do next.
It’s your that’s just the way you are. I’m in the same frame of mine. And I feel like we are taught all these things to believe, and we end up believing them, but our body’s telling us something else. So let’s say, let’s go to the political debate right now, the political stage, just for a moment and say, Democrats are better than Republicans for whatever reason.
Let’s just say that’s, what’s being. Mentioned, and that’s the narrative and you end up believing that. And so when you come across a Republican, you just see a human being, but your mind is saying, I can’t trust this person because they’re not, they don’t believe in the things I believe in.
And so they’re inferior or they’re just not good people. That’s a lie and your body doesn’t want to feel that or act that way, but you’re forcing yourself to, because your brain’s rewiring your decision-making process and. I remember listening to Dave Chappelle, the comedian. I love Dave Chappelle. He’s amazing, but he’s very philosophical and he’s very in touch with, the way the world works and how human beings are.
And he said something to Joe Rogan. He said that he thinks that politics is just bullshit right now. A lot of us do. And he thinks that humans don’t even want to be like this with each other. We’re just doing it because we’re, we’ve been lied to. We’ve been told that we’re not, the same and we shouldn’t be able to get along with each other.
And he believes that if we just operate from a place of kindness and compassion, We’ll be able to get along and that’s what communities have done ever since the beginning of, however long it’s been since we’ve been having communities and, we, yeah. Like we just don’t. Naturally want to fight.
We want to be friends. We want to have relationships. That’s a healthy community. So it’s so sad to watch right now, the community really disengaged. And I wanted to ask you what you think about community and what, how far you think we are from having community and what that means to you.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:10:54] That’s a really great question, I think often about I’ve been told before, by some people that I’m like middle path, like I can always see both perspectives and and I don’t know if I can see an under understand.
I just, I care to listen to both oh, what makes this person think the way they think based on the conditioning of their life and their experience and their knowledge. And so it’s hard to be judgemental unless somebody is just outright, violent and harmful. But I feel like what’s happened is.
People don’t trust themselves anymore. We don’t trust our own knowing and our own intuitive way of moving through the world. And so people are just clinging to anyone that claimed authority. Anyone who claims to know the answer and oh yeah, that must be true because they seem certain. And I dealt my own knowing.
So I’m just going to jump on that ship and just float around with this guy for awhile. So I see that happening and that’s, what’s creating the fragmentation is there’s a lot of oh, it’s this greed in this power, in this like white supremacy. And yet all those things are true and there’s also.
A deeper human suffering that we don’t trust ourselves. If we really trusted ourselves as individuals and really dropped into our own knowing, we’d be able to question those people that claim to know what’s best for us and do it without having to fight about it and do it in a way that offered space for every unique voice to be heard and celebrated.
So community. Just like this whole pandemic. Oh my God. How did this become political, but wearing masks or how did this become political about whether a human being who’s of color is worthy or not worthy? Everything is just, oh my God. It’s just been really intense and sad to witness and experience.
And also Sadly not surprising because of how wired we are as humans to follow somebody that’s like leading or someone that seems to know something more than us. There’s great there that we need to take care of ourselves a little bit better, and then we can immunity really wholeheartedly and we can really serve each other better.
Clement: [00:13:01] Ironically, cause we were talking about the TV earlier. You know how it’s not healthy to watch too much television. I think a lot at that agency of humans, being able to trust themselves and take action and make decisions for themselves has been taken away over time. By the messaging over television of you need this to be complete.
You need to watch the news to know what’s going on and what you should and shouldn’t do. And so I feel like coming back to the full circle to the television subject, if we do spend less time consuming traditional media and even social media now, I feel like we’re a lot more inclined to solve. Our challenges by ourselves as they come up in our lives.
At least that’s what happened with me. And I think a lot of the people that I’ve talked to who have taken like hiatuses from social media or television, or any of the kind of, vices that there are out there to just distract yourself. I think that’s what can really help people get agency back so that they can do more of the things that, they actually truly need to do.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:14:13] Yeah, I agree with that. I did, I had a teacher that I studied with for a long time who passed away a few years ago. And he used to say, When there’s a lot of fragmentation, who’s big into social change and trying to make the world better. And he would often say if there’s somebody that you disagree with, just picture them as a child and just see them as just another person who.
Is also struggling with trying to figure out how to move through this world and trying to find that piece of compassion. So like they’re all talking about kindness. Absolutely. It’s also good to have boundaries, and all those things. But and another thing he would say is that when you look at another person or person that walks past, you show them your face.
Show them your face. Like we are humans, we’re in this together in, it’s not always fricking easy. And so just look in their eyes and see another person. Who’s just trying to figure things out. We focus so much in our preferences, what we like and what we don’t like about a person, rather than just the shared humanity that we have.
Clement: [00:15:14] That’s what I liked about growing up without the internet is that you’d have to go and you’d have to spend time with other people. And whether you like them or not, you had to find a way to deal with them because. There was no other way. Like you go to school, you go in a classroom now everything’s online.
Whatever you go to a party, you see the people you don’t like still have to say hi to you still have to come. Like you go to a store to buy something because there’s no Amazon back then. And you have to deal with the terrible customer service and all of that stuff. So it’s there’s no of it. It teaches you.
Compassion. It teaches you patience. It teaches you.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:15:56] And that it’s different. And it’s not about, it’s not just about. You, it’s not just about me. It’s not just about what I want. It’s we have to learn to compromise to some degree and we also need to learn to listen. And what we assume may not be correct.
So it’s like, how can we just have open hearts, open minds? Of course, like I said, boundaries, I’m saying that again, because I do think sometimes we can be all like, oh my gosh, I love and kindness. And yeah. Like sometimes there’s people that are really harmful and it’s important to feel in your body when you’re sensing is feeling of not being safe and take care of that need.
Otherwise we’re just, shared humanity is important, but also self-preservation is as well.
Clement: [00:16:40] Do you find that a lot of the people that you treat and I want to talk about this now with you w what kind of people you work with, and so you feel like a lot of people that you work with have these emotional mental challenges, let’s say because they have maybe not worked on certain social.
Aspects of their lives. Let’s say, for example, someone with high anxiety, maybe they haven’t really spent enough time in situations where they could become strong and comfortable with being themselves because they know that nothing bad is going to happen to them. They’re going to be fine. What are your thoughts about?
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:17:21] that?
No, that’s a good question. I think it’s really is variable. I think there are some individuals that just have, some cognitive imbalance and they just have some mental health challenges that are maybe genetic they’re predisposed to some sort of trauma, something like that.
And that requires a different level of care. I do. Find that a lot of the folks that I work with. So in my, real job had it’s folks with disabilities and that’s a very different situation. A lot of that is more disability related or diagnosed. And then other folks that I work with in my coaching, or maybe not be, having been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, things like that, but it’s A symptom of a trauma or developing a habit nature at a very young age to protect themselves in some environment that they were in.
And then that’s just manifested into some level of anxiety or not feeling safe or, feeling like screw the world. I don’t trust people. I’m just going to drink and I’m going to just tune out because it’s too painful to be a part of it. There’s that too. That’s a self protective mechanism, right?
That it’s, it can protect people to a certain degree until it no longer does. But anxieties are really good liars as well. Anxiety tells you in some ways it tells you that you need to be afraid as like you’re, you’re your starting point. And it doesn’t always allow for discretion in the moment, right?
Because it’s sometimes you do need to have fear. And sometimes that anxiety is important. Fear is can be positive manifestor of change. But I think a lot of times people have including myself, like my own story, like it’s having anxiety that can crept up as a result of habits that I’ve developed to protect myself.
Then. Just working with that habit. Nature is a lot of what I do with coaching. I’m just saying, what is true for you right now? Where do you want to be in your life? And what are you committed to? And let’s like really break down. Some of these stories you’re telling yourself so that you can build up the reality that you want for yourself.
And so that’s a little different, like in the coaching world. It’s Anxiety might be more of a manifestation of a story or a narrative that’s been going on for a long time, rather than that’s really happening right in the moment.
Clement: [00:19:26] Do you have a personal experience with anxiety? Is that why you gravitated toward doing that kind of coaching?
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:19:33] Yeah, I for me, I start, I didn’t acknowledge anxiety as something that I experienced until I was in my thirties. I certainly had a lot of looking at like a trauma spectrum. If you write down from like the moment you’re born all the way through, like all of your trauma moments, like an average it’s 10 or 11 big events for a person or something.
I have 50, so I was like, oh my God, all these things no wonder why I choose to be alone a lot of the time, because I feel safe by myself. I should trust myself. I’m and I would look at that kind of pattern, but then when my life got so busy and I was parenting and I’m, wifing, I’m a wife, I’m a mom, I’m working, I’m doing all these things.
And there was a lot of othering that was happening. I lost myself in that and needed to depend on other people, which is really terrifying for me and anxiety from
Clement: [00:20:22] one end of the spectrum, to the other kind of thing.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:20:25] And anxiety has just kicked my ass. So it was, I had probably several years of some pretty significant anxiety, which I didn’t actually talk to most people about.
I kept it very private and it was a very lonely journey.
Oh God, that’s a great question. For me, it was a lot of aversion about being with other people. I like something as simple as going to meetings with like clients. I was wanting to sit as close as I could to the door so I can leave as soon as I needed to. I was in facial. I was having like facial ticks.
I was having weird symptoms that way, but wasn’t able to eat very well. The like panic attacks, probably like every two, three days, or my whole body was having this big, huge somatic experience where I felt like I was being chased by a tiger or something. It was horrible and just horrible. And I didn’t.
And I would just keep it in. So no one around me could tell that was happening to me, but I’d be experiencing it. I know. I had to be a mom. I was a wife to somebody, that he knew about it, but it was a little challenging for him. Cause I’m used to he’s used to me having my stuff together.
So I didn’t quite have my stuff together. I was, there was a voice that was very loud in my mind where I remember saying, all right This, I would rather be depressed and anxious, I’m not sure that’s the truth for most people, but for me, that’s that I would rather, because with the depression is an apathy and it just I don’t give a shit.
And with anxiety, it was so ever-present, it was so crippling. It affected my ability to travel, to enjoy my life fully because I was just having this big anxious bubble is this it? Is this my life?
Clement: [00:22:06] Where did it come from? If you don’t mind me asking do you, did you, I assume you figured it out and that’s how you yeah.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:22:13] Part of it was a childhood trauma that I never really liked. Metabolized. If I can, if that’s the right word, I just was in it. One thing after another, and then things settled and there was a big truth that happened in my family. And when that happened, I didn’t quite know where my role was within the family.
And I was adopted. And so I think there’s some nucleus back to that of not knowing where I belong. Feeling like like totally an island and just this sort of loner in the world. And. I used to enjoy that part of my identity of feeling that way. And then it got to the point where I really needed support around me to work through some things.
And I was giving a lot of energy out and not really taking good care of myself.
Clement: [00:22:58] So you’re neglecting what was happening within you
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:23:02] and just giving myself the permission to feel what I really was feeling without hearing others around me telling me that I should not feel that way. Like I always had this.
This pattern of feeling guilty. When I would ask for things for myself, it was a deep conditioning in my childhood. And so then what I needed to ask for things for myself, I didn’t know how so I just pulled up and built up over the years until I was like, holy crap. Like this is one human body and one mind, and I’m curing all this and I don’t know how to release it because I don’t have practice doing it.
So it took over and that’s where meditation practice really helped me. That’s where I dropped into that because that’s the life it really did.
Clement: [00:23:50] What kind of meditation did you practice?
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:23:55] Did and still do more just Zen style meditation. Just sit down, see what happens, wake up to this moment in your life.
Nothing, not more of a secular style of practice. My, my main teacher at the time was Buddhist primarily. And a lot of my dear friends also practice Buddhism as a kind of a way of moving through the world. And I love Buddhist psychology and I loved Buddhist thought. And I think that.
Coupled with sort of my spiritual childhood background. I was raised Christian. I was raised in a, a little Methodist church in the woods. And while I have lots of. Opinions about the Christian Church and the, what’s happened with the Christian Church. I definitely found a lot of value in some of the teachings that I’ve, that I learned and especially in service.
I think that sort of service hearts energy, as well as just really looking at the psychology of the mind and how it works helped me to center. It helped me to find that. Balance within myself. What I can control in control how the mind is just
Clement: [00:25:02] yeah. Yeah. So the whole thing about the church is interesting because I F I feel like I understand what you’re saying.
I have a very religious family. My close, my, my close family is religious. My sister has just graduated Bible college in California. My mother is just about to graduate her second year of pastor training. And my father is going along and helping her and being part of that. It’s just myself and my brother, who in the family are not religious, but.
When you said that there’s a lot of things you learned with having a childhood that was in that background that helped you, like maybe some values and, principles. And I get that. And I picked up a Bible recently actually ordered two different Bibles. Cause it’s very hard to read the Bible.
I’m not sure if people have tried to read it, but it’s pretty hard.
So I bought a Bible that is a little bit more modernized. Yes, right? Yeah. You can find it. Now. It’s funny for me to be talking about this because I am an agnostic person. I don’t really believe in any particular God, even though I do feel quite spiritual. I had to give myself permission to actually say, I can read about the Bible and read into it and learn about it and not feel like I need to be Christian, but I recognize that there’s something there’s something in the teaching that is really powerful.
And I think it’s community building. I think it’s what we’re missing. Maybe some of it is we’ve forgotten it or, cause I think in the United States, Christianity has always been a backbone of the Mo of the United States. And now what, I’m what I feel, and I might be wrong. I feel like we’ve taken out personal Liberty in our personal freedoms to such a degree that we are so far left.
That we’ve lost the concept of having more traditional values, which are actually conducive to having a functioning community, where people have rules and regulations and they operate a certain way. And it’s all to do with. Making sure that everyone gets along and we’re able to live together without killing each other.
There’s something there. I didn’t mean to take it away,
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:27:44] but I think it’s relatable. When I think about I have friends that joke with me, they say, I’m not into, I’m not into Jesus, but I like your version of Jesus. And so I think Jesus was great. And I looked at like the Christian Church and I think, what do you do?
This is not even at all when he was talking about, so part of it is I grew up in, small church where it was all about kindness and compassion and service. And I go to Tennessee and go to And, the Appalachian Mountains and build houses for homeless people. It was like all service-oriented stuff.
And so that’s where I felt like the presence of God, if that’s what we’re talking about. And but for me, mostly it’s a nature is mostly in nature where I can trust that people are really not such good reminders of what what would God put in coaches. It, yeah. It’s interesting.
And having that mindset and I like what you were saying too, because so often people think I don’t believe in that, so I’m not gonna read that. But part of what makes somebody an educated thoughtful person is to be able to look at both perspectives and, or look at all personal and say,
Clement: [00:28:45] interesting it’s Republicans and Democrats, black people and white people or people of color it’s everything. It’s the ability to open your minds to different ways of thinking and still maintain your agency?
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:29:01] Absolutely. I that’s so true. My parents or my mother and my stepfather anyway very strong conservatives, very strong Republicans.
And they’re also very strong Christians. And I remember just this last summer saying you do realize that Jesus wasn’t a Republican. No. I don’t think he has a revolve again. I know. It’s interesting how I feel like predominantly like white. Men came and pulled out of a religious practice of Christianity, the rules that benefited them to create a culture and a system politically that our country is built on because really the principles that Jesus was talking about are not very different than what.
Buddha was talking about or whatever. And so it’s just our human need to feel control. And so it can choose what I think works. We all do it. I do it, oh, this works for me, that doesn’t. So I, I’d like to say as well, and I’m a very spiritual person, but I’m not a very religious person because I think that there’s a lot of Just information that pulls away from someone trusting their own knowing or relationship with their spiritual practice.
If it’s just written in a book believe this don’t question it. It’s yeah, the questioning is part of where faith comes from, yeah.
Clement: [00:30:11] Interesting. It is fascinating and it, and I hope that more people, I hope that people listening to this can or watching this can actually. Come to, give themselves permission to do things that maybe they don’t identify with just because, they can and it can open your mind to new ideas.
Speaking of what’s happening today, how has this year changed for you in terms of like your clients and their needs and how have you dealt with that? And what kind of situations have you seen happen? Recurring. That may be people are suffering with today.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:30:46] I, other than just the sort of real life things of job loss or, illness or losing a parent or something that they weren’t able to be with, there’s trauma around it.
There’s trauma around COVID there’s trauma around the fragmentation of our political system and our cultural system. But what I’ve found is like a pattern. What I’ve seen is that those that tend to be more helping professions have been the ones that I’ve seen the most, that are more like psychiatrist or, nurses, or because they’re like, I can’t help.
I don’t know how to help. And so like the practices, what can you do? Like how can you Just returned back to yourself for a minute and just gather yourself for a minute, because there’s a lot of unknowns and I feel like that unpredictability and a lack of a pre like predictable rhythm of this is how things go because everything is just been uprooted.
Clement: [00:31:39] So psychiatrists will come to you for guidance on. Yeah. Wow. That is fascinating. And blurry, but fascinating.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:31:49] I think every good therapist needs a therapist, right?
Clement: [00:31:53] Joking. I’m half joking.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:31:57] Then we are all human and that’s true. But I feel like there’s a like that I’ve used the word fragmentation a bunch, but I really feel like that’s what’s happened. And so knowing where someone’s is. In their own life and how they work in their community. There’s a lot of questions around how to be with each other.
And that’s brought up a lot of interesting emotions for people. And I think that’s one of the biggest things is anxiety more than anything, anxiety. And as a result of just. This trauma and maybe not even being aware, like maybe someone didn’t lose their job and maybe their marriage is great and maybe their life is fine, but they’re still anxious.
So there’s this undercurrent that’s happening of anxiety in our human world that working with people, it’s more what does this mean for you? What is this like for you? And get a little permission to explore that within themselves. Yeah. The world might feel like a mess, but you have value.
Let’s talk about what you need. And so that’s been where a lot of the coaching has been.
Clement: [00:32:54] Just talking, just getting to the bottom
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:32:56] of it. Talking cause it’s and I don’t know if there is really a bottom of it. I feel like it’s more of a, just being able to explore like what they’re feeling and give permission, because I think there’s so myself included, it’s hard for me to go, oh, but I’m feeling upset about this, or I’m feeling anxious or sad about this, but then I go, oh but the world, so many people are suffering.
So I’m just going to put myself aside because. What’s going on, it is well right now or what’s going on in our black communities. There was so like not giving myself permission to also have value. Especially when there’s suffering, that’s really present right now.
Clement: [00:33:34] How would you describe that process then?
Let’s say someone’s suffering from chronic debilitating anxiety or panic attacks. How would you guide someone through that? And what does that normally look like for you, with your patients or your clients?
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:33:53] Yeah. It’s different for both hats that I wear, like in my psychology hat, I usually have a team of people where we all work together to address something.
And again, those are clients that have disabilities. And so they usually have guardians that kind of helped manipulate some of the things. And again, like anxiety it’s really looking at isn’t. It is something that is a mental health diagnosis. Is it actually something that requires more significant treatment or medication or, and I’m not pro medication, but I do think there’s a place for it.
And so there may be that’s like a little different, I think, than a lot of the folks that I’m seeing now might not have an actual diagnosis of anxiety or depression or that sort of dissociation. That’s been happening a lot with people. So in the coaching end of it. If somebody comes to me and I’m wearing my coaching hat, and they’re saying like I’m having ongoing panic attacks and I can’t sleep and there’s other things going on, I might actually refer them back to their doctor and say, let’s build a team to support you and see if there’s other things or a psychiatrist or somebody else that can be on the team or, better supporting that person.
Because, there is a time for those kinds of referrals. And I try to keep both hats, separate like therapy hat and coach hat kinda keeping them different. Cause it’s very hard for me to not blend the two. For, in the coaching world with when people come and they have anxiety, I think the biggest thing is just giving.
People to space and the room to just name it, name what they’re feeling without any judgment from me, I’m just sharing their story. God, that’s so important. People feel really isolated right now and being able to share like what their experience is and where that anxiety comes from. And.
Reflecting back the narrative that I’m hearing. That’s an, every piece of it. It’s oh, so this, this is what I’m hearing you say. And half the time you’re like, oh my God, that’s not even what I mean, that’s what I said. That’s what I sound like. So it mirroring back a reflective voice, I think, has been really helpful for people.
And often just talking through the anxiety, reduces the anxiety. I tell folks all the time more, you talk about your anxiousness and where you talk about your trauma or your experience, even if it’s really freaking hard, the less power it’s going to have over your agency, right over your person.
And so sometimes I’ll have clients that will just tell me the same story until they can shift the narrative a bit and have a different perspective shift. But usually in all of the sessions, we start with some grounding and some meditation, and we do some somatic work sometimes where we’re actually doing physical practices together and not what
Clement: [00:36:28] does that look like?
The sematic work? Cause I’m very fascinated by that.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:36:32] Yeah. It’s very fascinating stuff. It’s really different for each person, but in the coaching world it’s having the person. Have more accountability for their own life, rather than me as a therapist saying here’s some suggestions, it’s more what would be helpful here?
What would be important to you right now? What do you feel you need right now? And just helping that person to learn, to trust themselves again? And then try something and then I hold them accountable. And then maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t work, but if it’s hard, one of the simplest things is if someone says something to me that this is what I feel, I might say, where do you feel that in your body, where are you sensing that right now in your body?
Or I’m going to say this to this person? How does that feel in your body? Let’s try it. Let’s practice it. Where do you feel it in your body? Let’s try it. So it’s more having them every time they’re communicating drop into. What’s my body telling me right now about this, do I believe my own bullshit?
Or or is this really true for me? Or actually I have a huge aversion to what I’m saying, or I feel really powerful about it, or also mirroring, like I noticed when you say this, you move towards the camera or you’re clenching your fists. Can you tell me about that? Or I notice this when you’re not able to look at the camera when we’re talking or.
In person or whatever, look in my eyes. So bringing up physical body language, how does that rest with you? Or does it land with you and just having them reflect on how they’re presenting themselves? One of the most powerful semantic experiences that I’m in my training that I did. And then I also will do with folks, is them finding a body shape that expresses how they want to feel like, how do you want to feel?
What’s your ideal. Experience and have them show me, stand up, show me in their body, what that feels like. And then where are you right now? And have them with their body take shape as a way of expressing what that feels like. And then I’ll have them watch me and I’ll hold those poses on mirror. Those poses for three minutes in silence.
And have them watch, this is what I look like right now. This is what it feels like. And often there’s tears comment and they’re like, holy crap. I feel, I look contracted, I look afraid, I look angry or whatever. And then they’ll watch me do this is where you want to be. This is what it looks like. How does that feel?
So they can actually have that mirrored back sensation. It seems so simple, but boy, it can be really powerful stuff. Really actually. Yeah. So it’s really like, how do you feel that in your body? What does it look like? How do you sense into that? So those are some of the most basic kind of things.
There’s certainly other kinds of deeper somatic work that we’ll do. But a lot of it is just returning back to that okay, let’s try this and then have some self observation. How does this feel in your body? Have them take notes, This, you have this exchange with this person you were avoiding or whatever, how did that feel in your body?
Where did you feel in your body? A lot of that instead of just talk therapy, it’s more fun. Yeah.
Clement: [00:39:36] I love that. I love the sound of that. And yeah, I think that we get a lot of. Inquiries about mental health counseling and help. And a lot of people that consume our content are always messaging us saying, I need you to, I need someone to talk to.
I’m feeling depressed. I feel like I want to take my own life. And I feel like this year, last year it’s really. We’ve really entered a new mental health epidemic and we need to be doing everything we can to give people the tools they need to cope with this. You mentioned that you do a lot of yoga, that is a very complimentary right.
Therapy. What do you know works and how often do you do that?
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:40:24] Oh, God. I’m laughing only because what works for one person might not work for someone else. And so for me, like having a yoga practice or meditation practice really is very important for me to maintain a sense of grounding for someone else that maybe like Zumba dancing or, pole dancing or something else.
Whatever it might be. So I think it’s really good. Depends on where somebody feels that they can connect with the type of movement. It really depends, but you you mentioned a couple of things, like the first thing about if somebody was to come to me and say, Hey, I’m suicidal and I’m having suicidal ideations and I’m feeling this and coaching would not be an appropriate option for them.
That would be more of a therapy kind of aspect. But if someone’s Hey, I’m okay. I’m stuck. I’m in a loop, I’m in a pattern. I can’t get out of this pattern or I have this anxiety that I just can’t get over it or a fear that I just can’t name. That’s where coaching, I think can be really helpful.
And for some, it might be picking up some sort of yoga practice as a complimentary movement exercise, or a meditation practice or something like that. And for some, it might be that might just totally trigger anxiety. They might not want to be. Maybe they want to do something else. Maybe they just want to break dance or something, so it really depends on the person. So I, I try to be open with what works for that individual rather than what I would, what works for me.
Clement: [00:41:43] Yeah. That makes sense. Yeah, no I agree with you. And it’s the same as meditation for me. I. I do a certain type of meditation might not be the type that other people, I actually liked the idea of Kundalini the whole practice of that, but I’ve never tried it. I only ever do the kind of like I’m going to sit and be mindful, which works, but the Kundalini looks a lot more somehow invigorating in a sense just the way that it let’s see it. That’s great.
Yeah. And I feel like I’m starting to open my mind to that. More comprehensive type of practice, which has been maybe more spiritual than just sitting with your focus on one thing. And yeah, I agree with you there’s I wasn’t ready for meditation, a couple of years ago, up until that point, I’d been doing things like, going to the gym or Just taking a break and going to the beach.
And like you said, for some people that’s probably a good place to start. Just take a break. I actually had a friend who was in a very high profile position for a big tech giant, and he was under pressure to perform against, really aggressive goals. And he was drinking so much every day. And I was worried about him and everyone was worried about him and he went to the doctor and the doctor said, look, you’re going to die.
If you don’t stop doing this, you’re going to kill yourself. So he quit his job and he started doing diving, just scuba diving. And he said it really took all the stress away, just being in the water, in the calm, peaceful, no noise, just beautiful things to look at and, just find your groove.
Yeah, really? Yeah.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:43:28] Yeah. That’s I, no, I agree. Finding your groove. That’s a nice way of putting it. Yeah,
Clement: [00:43:33] sure. I think that hopefully when people listen to this and watch this, they’ll get some. Interesting insights as to what drives, anxiety, what drives mental health challenges, how they can maybe, come to terms with that, give themselves permission, who they can go to see for help.
Speaking of which, how do people get in touch with you? What’s the best way? How do they,
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:43:58] oh gosh. At this point We’re in a different we’re in different countries. So I say, Hey, give me a jingle, give me a call. My, my email is usually best. And of course we use WhatsApp.
So if there’s anybody that’s in your world is interested in coaching, they can certainly use that. But Do you want me to give you my email address?
Clement: [00:44:16] What’s your email, what’s your email and your WhatsApp because our main audiences in the U S so we listen to, this are in your name.
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:44:26] The email addresses Y massage, Y M A S S A G E yoga. So firstname.lastname@example.org is the best way to reach me. And then from there it’s figuring out next steps or if it’s the right fit or if they have questions, I’m happy to just answer questions as well. Or, refer out if there’s some other, bigger needs that are, that someone is working with that I can’t help with.
Really people are helping themselves. I’m just guiding them through it.
Clement: [00:44:54] That maybe that’s the best type of help they can get,
Shannel Trudeau Yancey: [00:44:57] yeah. Sometimes therapy is the right option. One of my very closest friend is a psychotherapist here in medicine that does amazing work. There’s all sorts of options and sometimes coaching is the right thing.
Sometimes there’ll be is depends on the person. So
Clement: [00:45:13] nice. Thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it. Really nice conversation. .